SALEM, Mass. - Hakeem Animashaun (Dedham, Mass.) erupted for 27 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocks to help the Salem State Vikings defeat the MCLA Trailblazers 88-67 at Twohig Gymnasium on Saturday in MASCAC action. Animashuan entered the day second in the country with 16 double-doubles and ranked fifth nationally in rebounding (12.6). The Vikings go to 4-18 and 3-6 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). The Trailblazers fall to 14-7 on the season and 7-2 in the MASCAC.
MCLA made a game of it early. Ki-Shawn Monroe (Springfield, Mass.) passed to a cutting Noah Yearsley (Averill Park, NY) for a reverse layup to tie the score at 10-10 with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter. However, Salem State began to take over of the game. Jaden Castillo (Lawrence, Mass.) hit a mid-range jumper, extending the Vikings' lead to 24-17 with 8:10 to go in the half.
With 5:50 left in the first half, Animashaun scored a layup with an up-and-under move to put Salem State up 32-19. The Vikings were in control with a 42-25 lead over the Trailblazers at the end of the first half.
Castillo and Animashaun each scored 18 points in the first half. Castillo shot 50% (FG 6-12) from the field and Animashaun went 7-11 from the floor hitting 63.6% of his shot attempts.
The Vikings pulled away in the second half as Alex De La Rosa (Boston, Mass.) made a layup on a break, putting Salem State in front 53-32. The Trailblazers could not cut the deficit to lower than 14 points in the second half.
Salem State made 53.3% (FG 32-60) of their shot attempts. MCLA struggled from the field, going 29.9% (FG 23-77). Castillo dropped 20 points (FG 7-15, FT 6-6), with eight rebounds, and four blocks. De La Rosa added 10 points (FG 5-7), and two steals.
For the Trailblazers, Yearsley had 15 points (FG 5-13) and nine rebounds. Monroe posted 11 points (FG 4-14) and five rebounds.